China will once again hold the title for the world’s fastest train.
Following a fatal crash in 2011, the high speed train service reduced its upper limit from its then-record holding 350 km/h (217 miles/hour) to 250-300 km/h (155-186 miles/hour). But as China seeks to stay ahead globally in its rail services and sell its bullet trains and railways as part of the “Belt and Road Initiative,” it has decided to relaunch the world’s fastest train service.
Government-controlled website Thepaper.cn reported that seven pairs of bullet trains will be operating under the name “Fuxing,” meaning rejuvenation, according to the South China Morning Post. The trains will once again run at 350 km/h, with a maximum speed of 400 km/h (248 mph). It is reported that the train service will boast a monitoring system that will automatically slow the trains in case of emergency.
The Beijing-Shanghai line will begin operating on 21 September and will shorten the nearly 820 mile journey by an hour, to four hours thirty minutes. Nearly 600 million people use this route each year, providing a reported $1 billion in profits. Other routes include Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, which will begin operation today.
China has laid more than 12,400 miles of high-speed rail to date, with the intention of adding another 6,000 miles by 2020. According to the Associated Press, the country has spent $360 billion building the network of high-speed rail, creating the largest in the world.